I am proud to present you, the taxpayers of Erie County, with the Erie County Clerk’s Annual Report for 2021.
My top priority for the Erie County Clerk’s Office is to continue to provide a safe and healthy environment for our employees and customers. As an Office, we remain committed to ensuring that our services are accessible to all County residents and businesses and to finding ways to deliver our services more efficiently and cost-effectively.
It was a busy year for the County Clerk’s Office. We processed $167 million worth of transactions and generated a $6.5 million surplus. Those surplus funds were transferred into the County’s general fund to support vital services countywide. The Pistol Permits Office processed 41% more transactions and generated 7% more revenue than the previous year. The Land Records Office processed real estate and associated banking transactions valued at over $2 billion in 2021. The Actions and Proceedings Department, through timely filing of documents and processing of requests, assisted the Erie County Supreme and County Courts in their return to more expansive operations in 2021.
Looking forward, the Erie County Clerk’s Office will face new challenges in 2022 and beyond. Residents and businesses can rest assured however that through strategic planning, willingness to embrace change and the unwavering dedication, hard work and professionalism of our employees, the County Clerk’s Office remains well-positioned for success. We are always looking for ways to become more efficient and provide a better customer service experience and will continue to evaluate our internal processes and procedures in 2022.
On May 3, 2023, federal REAL ID requirements will take effect requiring all driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards to meet federal REAL ID standards for use in domestic air travel and entering certain federal facilities. Erie County Auto Bureaus are anticipating a significant spike in customer volume as the deadline to comply draws nearer. Servicing more customers than normal will be challenging but also provide an opportunity for generating increased revenues. The County Clerk’s Office has been preparing for this by conducting an on-going campaign to educate the public about REAL ID requirements and encourage people to obtain REAL ID compliant identification from one of our Erie County Auto Bureaus in advance of the deadline.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV) continues to expand the number of online services available through their website, which could lead to more people transacting their business remotely with NYS DMV rather than in person at Erie County Auto Bureaus. In recognition of this, the Erie County Clerk’s Office has been conducting a “Renew Local” campaign. The campaign aims to educate local residents and businesses that when they conduct their DMV business through an Erie County Auto Bureau they are also ensuring that 12.7% of the revenue from their transaction will remain here in Erie County. The County Clerk’s Office has also implemented strategies designed to provide a better customer service experience at County Auto Bureaus such as extending business hours, streamlining transactions for high-volume customers, and ensuring employees are available to provide guidance, answer questions and, if necessary, contact NYS DMV for customers in-real time.
In closing, I want to thank all of our government partners for their continued support and once again commend the employees of the Clerk’s Office for their professionalism and unwavering commitment to serving the residents and business of Erie County during difficult times. Additionally, I want to personnaly thank you for allowing me to represent you as your Erie County Clerk. It is an honor and I look forward to serving you as we continue to "Drive Erie County Forward."